Oddball Al Snow Beats the Odds

Oddball Al Snow beats the odds

Sun Sentinal May 2000

Some things in pro wrestling just go together.    Sting and his face paint. The Sandman and a cigarette. Muscular physiques and anabolic steroids.

And now, Al Snow and Steve Blackman should get added to the list.

   After teasing a split last month, the eccentric Snow and the stone-faced Blackman are back teaming as the World Wrestling Federation's version of the Odd Couple.

   "It's entertaining," said Snow, who appears to have finally found his niche after several years of unsuccessful gimmicks in the WWF. "I'm a lunatic and I come up with totally irrational ideas that help to highlight what little of Steve's personality he has.

   "The stuff (WWF wrestlers) do in the ring I think has become almost secondary to what we do outside the ring, especially in this case. This is a very good example of that. We're both good workers. It's just that the stuff we do outside the ring looks much better."

   Although pushed as undercard performers, the musings of Snow and Blackman have provided an offbeat form of comic relief on WWF pro-gramming since being paired in late January. To enhance Blackman's colorless wrestling persona, Snow has gotten him involved in such skits as moonwalking during a match -- which resulted in a pinfall loss -- and reading tasteless jokes to the elderly at a nursing home.

   The Snow-Blackman team almost didn't come about, as a similar gimmick with Phil LeFon and Doug Furnas in the mid-1990s fell flat. Snow said WWF scriptwriters told him promotion owner Vince McMahon was uncomfortable with the idea initially.

   Said Snow, whose real name is Allen Sarven: "I said, `If you want to put me with somebody, why don´t you put me with Steve? I´ll put his not having a personality into his personality. We´ll make it obvious and stand out. I think we can do some funny, creative stuff.´ The next thing you know, they tried it …and they liked it. We´ve been together since."

   Snow and Blackman also are starting to rub off on one another. Blackman -- who was given the nickname "Head Cheese" by Snow -- is beginning to exhibit more personality, while Snow is becoming more serious.

   "I'm happy with the way it's going," said Blackman, who debuted in the WWF 2˝ years ago after a career in mixed martial arts. "When I first came in, I felt comfortable with the working ability. I just felt uncomfortable with the microphone. Now, I feel comfortable doing both. To get over in the business, you need to do both.